HC Deb 09 July 1902 vol 110 cc1206-64

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee).

[Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]

Clause 5:—

(2.40). SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)

said he wished to move the postponement of this Clause, because the treatment of it depended very much on what was done with subsequent Clauses—on whether they were altered or whether they were retained intact. For instance, in the case of Clauses 9 and 10, much would depend on whether or not it was to be optional on the part of the County Council to say whether or not it would act as the local education authority. Again, Clauses 12 and 13 dealt with financial questions and the adoptive principle necessarily had an important hearing. Clause 18 too involved important consideration, and he did not see how hon. Members could be expected to deal with Clause 5 until these various points had been cleared up.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That Clause 5 be postponed."—(Sir Edward Strachey.)

* MR. CBANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

said the reasons advanced for postponing Clauses 1 and 2 were far less forcible than those which could he urged in regard to this Clause. The very serious state of uncertainty in which they were placed as to the probable outcome in Part III. of the changes admitted in Part II., rendered it very desirable to postpone the Consideration of Clause 5. Therè were now some 1,100 or 1,200 autonomous centres with regard to secondary education, and the concessions which had been made in Part II logically and even à fortiori involved similar concessions in Part III. It would make a serious difference in the whole construction of the Bill, and in the working out of the imperfectly formed machinery contemplated to be introduced under the Clause, if they had anything like the same system of local autonomy introduced in regard to elementary education as had been introduced for secondary education. The discussion of the Clause at present would therefore be singularly inopportune. If, however, the First Lord were to intimate that to the principle of the Clause he proposed to adhere—that was to say, the principle of referring the decision to the localities—then he would be ready to give him his support, and not press for postponement, and pass at once to the other clauses of the Bill.

* MR. BRIGG (Yorkshire, W. R., Keighley)

said he had put an Amendment on the Notice Paper to postpone Clause 5 at the request of the County Council of the West Riding of Yorkshire, a body which he claimed had some right to be heard on the point. He did not say that it had done more than any other County Council ought to have done, but it certainly had accomplished very excellent work. It had distributed large sums of money for educational progress, it had devoted.£5,000 to the 51 secondary schools in its district, £9,000 to evening technical schools, £2,000 to continuation schools, £9,500 to exhibitions and scholarships, and £1,400 in grants to teachers, some of whom pursue their studies abroad. The County Council was so overburdened with work at present that the members felt it would be impossible for them to take over elementary education unless some modifications were made in some of the subsequent Clauses dealing with the powers and duties of the local education authority.


Order, order! The hon Member must confine his arguments to the question of the postponement of the Clause.


said he was putting forward arguments for postponement. There were over a thousand schools in the Council's district which would have to be dealt with, and they would find it absolutely impossible to make the necessary arrangements if this Clause was carried at once.


That is an argument for postponing the operation of the Clause—not for postponing its consideration.


said he was pointing out that if the Clause as it stood were passed, the County Council could not possibly give effect to it, and they were anxious to hear what modifications the right hon. Gentleman proposed to suggest. He believed the progress of the Bill would be facilitated by postponing the Clause.


said it was quite clear that if the Government had reversed the order of the Clauses, and had proposed to deal first with the composition of the Education Committee, it would be said that the Clause ought to be postponed, as it was necessary to consider first the duties of the Committees before discussing their composition. The question raised by the Clause now before the Committee was one of extreme importance, and went to the root of the other parts of the Bill. That question was whether the local authorities were to be charged with the control of the business of elementary education — whether they were to be left to take the function upon themselves or not, according as they themselves decided. If the Committee were to continue to treat the Bill in the businesslike fashion in which they had treated it up to the present, they would proceed at once to settle that very important question, which would greatly affect their determination as to the position of the schools under Clause 8, and as to the constitution of the Education Committees under Clause 12.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

said that the Government were simply inviting the Committee to waste the whole afternoon in discussing the Amendments to the Clause, without giving to the Committee the slightest indication as to what they themselves proposed to do. The Notice Paper showed that Amendments to omit the Clause had come from all quarters of the House—from representatives of the Liberal Unionist Party, of the Educationists, of the Church Party, of the Radical Party, of the Liberal Party, and of the Nationalist Party—they all desired to reject the Clause. In all probability the whole afternoon and evening would be spent in discussing Amendments to a Clause which would ultimately be rejected altogether by a majority of 3 to 1. They were in blank ignorance as to the position of the Government in reference to Clause 5. He did not desire to unduly press the Government, but if there was any truth in the rumour that the Government intended to leave the decision of this Clause to the judgment of the House without naming tellers, the Committee ought to know that. He had not yet quite made up his mind as to which way he should vote, but he thought the facts he had stated made up a case in favour of the postponement of the Clause, because then they might proceed with the other Clauses, and if the Government were made aware of the feeling of the House in regard to this particular Clause, then possibly the discussion on Clause 5 might be avoided. Although he was strongly against this Clause, he thought the House ought to have the courage to settle this question one way or the other. To treat it in this way was an admission that the House of Commons was afraid to settle it. He was in favour of the deletion of this Clause altogether. He was rather afraid of changes in Clause 12 which might alter his attitude in reference to Clause 5. That was a strong argument in favour of the postponement of the Clause. On the other hand, such alterations might be made as would convert opponents into supporters of Clause 5. He would put it to the Government whether it was a rational course to embark upon a prolonged discussion, carried on in the dark, as to the position of the Government, with the result that at the end Clause 5 would be struck out by an overwhelming majority.

(3.5.) SIR SAMUEL HOARE (Norwich)

hoped the Committee would not agree to the postponement of the Clause. There was no doubt whatever that they had now to consider a very difficult question indeed, and he could not see that any advantage would be gained by postponing it. He thought it would be much better to at once approach the question and settle it. As one who had supported the First Lord of the Treasury warmly throughout all the proceedings in regard to this Bill, he appealed to him whether it would not be possible at this stage to define the position which the Government intended to take up in reference to this Clause. The question involved a great many difficulties which were anticipated on all sides of the House, and it would materially help this question if the right hon. Gentleman could give them some guidance as to whether the Clause was to be optional or not. If he was able to do this, he could not help thinking that this Clause would advance much more quickly. No doubt the First Lord of the Treasury wished to hear the views of various sections of the House, but there were many Members on both sides of the House who believed that it was not advisable that there should be any optional Clause. It would be a source of satisfaction if they know whether the Government were going to treat this as a question upon which all hon. Members might give their independent opinion. So much of the working of the Bill in future depended upon this Clause that he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman in the hope that he might make some statement which would clear the way, and prevent what must otherwise be a very lengthy discussion.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

said it would not be in order now to discuss the merits of the Clause, nor the merits of retaining or dispensing with the option. He desired, however, to correct the misapprehension of his hon. friend the Member for East Mayo, who seemed to think that there was a general disposition on both sides of the House to get rid of this Clause. He did not think that was so. Upon this point there was not unanimity upon the opposite side, while on the Opposition side there was a large preponderance of opinion in favour of retaining the Clause. He was bound to say that the Government were adopting a very judicious course in endeavouring to allow hon. Members to express their opinions on this question of retaining the option before announcing their views upon it. Two things must be remembered. In the first place, this was a question upon which many hon. Members could contribute opinions which would be worthy of the attention of the House; and, in the second place, the form in which it would be amended would alter their opinions as to the retention of the Clause.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

said it seemed to him a pity that the Government could not give the Committee some indication as to whether they intended to keep to this Clause. It was a waste of energy this hot weather to go on debating a Clause like this, unless the Government gave them a decided statement upon it. It seemed to him that the option must be given up, for everything turned upon that. He thought it would expedite business if they were told whether the Government were going to stand to the Clause or not. As for saying that it should be left to the House to decide, that did not seem to him the way in which a strong Government should act—for they ought to lead. It would facilitate matters very much if the First Lord or the Vice President gave them some definite idea as to whether the Government had made up their mind upon this subject or not.

* SIR WILLIAM MATHER (Lancashire, Rossendale)

said that this Clause went to the root of the elementary part of this Bill, and it would need very considerable alteration to make it suit the general feeling of those on his side of the House. Amendments were down on the Paper which might not go as far as his hon. friend the Member for East Mayo desired, but they indicated that improvements might be effected in the Clause.

MR. DUKE (Plymouth)

hoped the Leader of the House would not accede to the proposal to postpone the Clause, but he trusted that he would accede to the request to leave this an open question. He did not agree that the Government Whips should be brought in upon every possible occasion, so that matters might be decided without any reference to their individual judgment. He did not agree that the Clause should be postponed. He submitted that the reasonable course was to have the shorter discussion first. The House should make up its mind whether the provisions with regard to primary education should or should not be optional. That was a matter which ought not to occupy any great length of time. The Government had not themselves come to an irrevocable decision on the subject, and the proper course was to deal with this in a commonsense and, if possible, amicable way.

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

said an appeal had been made to the Leader of the House to declare what position the Government were going to take up in regard to the option clause. He sincerely hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would not accede to that request at the present moment. He trusted the right hon. Gentleman would first listen to what was to be said in regard to the various Amendments of which notice had been given. He asked the right hon. Gentleman to give serious consideration to what he proposed to do on the question of option. If the Bill stood as it was at present, he was certain that if County Councils were compelled to rate themselves for the purpose of education without management, there would be such strife and contention—he was not sure that there would not be such scenes of lawlessness—in this country as we had not seen in connection with religious matters for a long time past. [An HON. MEMBER: "Nonsense."] The hon. Gentlemen said that was nonsense. He was perfectly certain that the men who had said that they would resist to the utmost of their power the rate if imposed on them, were not men who were simply indulging in bluff or rant. He would appeal to the Government before they made up their minds finally to consider whether they would compel County Councils to undertake duties which would be obnoxious to many of them if Clause 12 stood as it was. He agreed with his hon. friend the Member for East Mayo that it depended entirely on what was done with Clause 12. He did not despair that some arrangement might be arrived at when they came to Clause 12, but if it was left as it was there was no power the Government had got to compel County Councils to impose a new church rate against their will. He ventured to say the central government would not do it. What happened in regard to Clause 12 would influence his judgment, and he thought the judgment of many hon. Members, on the question of option. He would ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether it would not be reasonable, first of all, to decide what they were going to do in regard to the machinery of the Bill, and if the machinery commended it self to the majority of the House he would have no difficulty in dropping the option clause. It would be the most serious step the Government had taken for some time, if they compelled responsible representative bodies like County Councils to enforce an Act of Parliament which, in their judgment, imposed injustice and wrong upon the majority of the people they represented. He did not think they could do it. He did not know a single case where a local authority had ever put into operation an Act of Parliament which created an injustice for the majority of their constituents. Why should they decide this question now? The usual method was to put in a clause at the end of an Act of Parliament declaring the extent of the application of the measure. That was the principle of draftsmanship which ought to apply here.


hoped the Committee would now bring the discussion to a close. It was perfectly true, as his hon. friend said earlier in the afternoon, that excellent and solid arguments might be brought forward to defer this Clause, or any clause in any Bill. A Bill was an organic whole, and it was perfectly true that they could not judge of any one part of it until they knew what the whole was to be. By postponing clauses, they only went round like a squirrel in a cage, and they never got on at all. It was perfectly true that the question whether the Clause should be compulsory was one which might be relevantly urged on such and such a proposition, but the converse was also true, and it was very difficult to decide what ought to be, or ought not to be, the provisions of the Bill, and whether it ought to be compulsory or not. They might bandy these contradictory arguments one against another the whole afternoon, and never come nearer any conclusive decision. He had been asked by one or two friends behind him to declare the Government policy on this matter; but he thought that would be introducing into a debate, which ought to flow in a narrow channel, considerations of very much wider scope. An opportunity would occur early in connection with the Amendments on the Paper, when it would be the duty of the Government to say what they thought on the question of option or no option, and perhaps, in the meanwhile, the Committee would now be willing to come to a decision as to whether the Clause ought or ought not to be postponed.

SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)

said he had not voted for the postponing of any Clause of the Bill, because he agreed with the right hon. Gentleman that it was a process by which they did reduce debate to something like the action of a squirrel going round in a cage; but there were occasions when they must go round, and he thought this was one, because it was impossible to go forward with any satisfaction. From the point of view of education, which they would come to discuss later on, it seemed to him the most blighting clause that could possibly be introduced in the Bill. He was not prepared to lay upon County Councils a duty of this kind until he knew what were the powers, and under what conditions these powers were to be exercised. In this case he thought there was some special reason for taking this clause later, so that they might know, before being asked to make the clause compulsory, under what conditions these powers would be laid upon the County Councils.


said he wished to make one observation which he thought was important. The difficulty which everybody felt could be remedied. The Report stage would provide a way out of the difficulty. Let the Committee decide on this Clause now, and if there should be any very vital, drastic, and revolutionary changes in that part of the Bill, the House would have an opportunity of discussing them on Report and of deciding whether these changes justified, or did not justify, the making of the Bill optional.

MR. HERBERT LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)

said the Motion before the Committee related to the application of the Bill. Hon. Members knew that a clause relating to the application of a Bill invariably came at the end—and quite rightly. They wanted to know, in the first place, what sort of a Bill it was. He thought if they voted for the Motion of his hon. friend they would be voting strictly according to precedent.

(3.29.) MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)

said the illustration of the right hon. Gentleman of the squirrel in the cage was not a very appropriate one.

They were balancing opposing considerations. There were reasons for taking the Clause in its order; but, on the other hand, there were, in his judgment, stronger reasons for postponing the Clause until they knew what duties were to be imposed on the County Councils.

(3.28.) Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 97; Noes, 167. (Division List No. 279.)

Allan, Sir William(Gateshead) Griffith, Ellis J. Paulton, James Mellor
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Rea, Russell
Atherley-Jones, L. Hardie, J. Keir(MerthyrTydvil) Rickett, J. Compton
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Harmsworth, R. Leicester Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Brigg, John Harwood, George Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Broadhurst, Henry Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Runciman, Walter
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Helme, Norval Watson Russell, T. W.
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Schwann, Charles E.
Burns, John Horniman, Frederick John Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Burt, Thomas Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Buxton, Sidney Charles Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R.(North'ts
Caine, William Sproston Jacoby, James Alfred Stevenson, Francis S.
Caldwell, James Joicey, Sir James Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Cameron, Robert Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Thomas, Sir A (Glamorgan. E.
Cawley, Frederick Kitson, Sir James Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Channing, Francis Allston Labouchere, Henry Thomas, JA(Glamorgan, Gower
Crombie, John William Lambert, George Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Layland-Barratt, Francis Tomkinson, James
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Toulmin, George
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Leigh, Sir Joseph Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Duncan, J. Hastings Leng, Sir John Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Elibank, Master of Levy, Maurice Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Emmott, Alfred Lewis, John Herbert Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Lough, Thomas Wier, James Galloway
Farquharson, Dr. Robert M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Fenwick, Charles M'Kenna, Reginald Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Markham, Arthur Basil Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen)
Fuller, J. M. F. Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Goddard, Daniel Ford Norton, Capt. Cecil William TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Grant, Corrie Nussey, Thomas Willans Sir Edward Strachey and
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick) Palmer, George Wm. (Reading) Mr. Lloyd-George.
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Bill, Charles Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Blundell, Colonel Henry Cranborne, Viscount
Anson, Sir William Reynell Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Cripps, Charles Alfred
Arkwright John Stanhope Boulnois, Edmund Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bousfield, William Robert Dalrymple, Sir Charles
Bain, Col. James Robert Carlile, William Walter Denny, Colonel
Baird, John George Alexander Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Dickson, Charles Scott
Balcarres, Lord Cavendish, V. C. W. (D'rbyshire Digby, John K. D., Wingfield-
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(Manch'r) Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wor. Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Chapman, Edward Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Clive, Captain Percy A. Doxford, Sir William Theodore
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christen. Coghill, Douglas Harry Duke, Henry Edward
Bartley, George C. T. Cohen, Benjamin Louis Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. Hicks Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Colomb, Sir J. Charles Ready Fardell, Sir T. George
Beresford, Lord Chas. William Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Fergusson, Rt. Hn. SirJ.(Manc'r
Finch, George H. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Ridley, Hon. M. W (Stalybridge
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Ridley, S. Forde(Bethnal Green
Fisher, William Hayes Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S. Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Lonsdale, John Brownlee Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Flower, Ernest Loyd, Archie Kirkman Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Galloway, William Johnson Lucas, Col. Francis(Lowestoft) Ropner, Colonel Robert
Gardner, Ernest Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth Round, Rt. Hon. James
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B(Cambs. Royds, Clement Molyneux
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn. M'Iver, Sir Lewis(Edinburgh W Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Gordon, Maj. Evans- (T'r, Hlts. Manners, Lord Cecil Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop Martin, Richard Biddulph Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Gore, Hon. S. F.(Ormsby-(Linc.) Mather, Sir William Seely, Maj. J. E. B.(Isle of Wight
Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Mevsey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Grenfell, William Henry Middlemore. John Throgmort'n Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.)
Gretton, John Mitchell, William Spear, John Ward
Gunter, Sir Robert Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G(Midd'x Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Morgan, DavidJ.(Walthamst'w Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashf'rd Morton, Arthur H. A.(Deptford Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Harris, Frederick Leverton Mount, William Arthur Talbot, RtHn. J. G.(Oxt'd Univ.
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Murray, Rt Hn. A. Graham(Bute Thorburn, Sir Walter
Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley Myers, William Henry Tollemache, Henry James
Heath, James (Staffords. N. W. Newdigate, Francis Alexander Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Heaton, John Henniker Nicol, Donald Ninian Tuke, Sir John Batty
Hoare, Sir Samuel Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway N.) Valentia, Viscount
Hobhouse, Henry(Somerset, E. Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Warr, Augustus Frederick
Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Parkes, Ebenezer Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.(Taunt'n
Hornby, Sir William Henry Pease, Herbert Pike(D'rlington Willox, Sir John Archibald
Hoult, Joseph Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Hozier, Hon. JamesHcnryCecil Pierpoint, Robert Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Hudson, George Bickersteth Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Plummer, Walter R. Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Wylie, Alexander
Johnston, William (Belfast) Pretyman, Ernest George Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Kennedy, Patrick James Randles, John S. Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh) Rankin, Sir James
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop. Reid, James (Greenock) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Lee, ArthurH.(Hants. Fareham Renshaw, Charles Bine Sir William Walrond and
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Renwick, George Mr. Anstruther.

said he trusted that the discussion which would ensue on the Amendment that he was about to propose would enable the Government to say what they proposed to do in regard toy Clause 5. He thought that in all parts of the House it was agreed that Clause 5 could not stand as it now appeared in the Bill; it must be amended, and even the Clause might be removed, and a new one put in its place. The object of his Amendment was to secure that the provisions of this Clause should not apply in a borough with a population of over 10,000, or in an urban district with a population of over 20,000, where there is a School Board at the commencement of this Act, and, save as aforesaid, shall apply. Then there would have to be added at the end of the Clause two sub-sections, in order to make the scheme executive, which he proposed to add in a subsequent Amendment in the following words— (1) "Where a School Board continues in existence in a borough or an urban district, the School Board shall have all the administrative powers and duties of a local education authority under this part of the Act, but the expenses of the School Board shall be defrayed as hereinafter provided. (2) A School Board shall not have power to raise money by serving a precept on the rating authority, but the Borough Council or Urban District Council shall pay to the School Board such money as they think fit for the purpose of meeting the expenses of the School Board. They were all agreed that it was necessary to place elementary education in this country in such a condition that it could be carried on most efficiently. The Government had provided for that, as they thought, by Part III of the Bill. Part II of the Bill provided that secondary education should be undertaken by the County Borough Councils and by the County Councils when the Bill was passed; but before these authorities could undertake elementary education it would be necessary for them to adopt Part III of the Bill. It was a somewhat complex question to say precisely what was the action opened up to these county boroughs and County Council authorities, if the County Councils throughout England and Wales did not adopt Part III of the Bill, then all the voluntary schools within their area would remain exactly as they are now, and so also would the board schools. They could not tell how long that condition of things would go on; and that would be very detrimental to the cause of elementary education. Then as to county boroughs. If the local educational authority did not adopt Part III, what would be the result? Voluntary schools would remain without any aid beyond that they now got for their secular education, as compared with the education in the board schools supported by the rates; and that would be a very serious defect in the educational system of the country. There were three existing classes of authorities who, under the Clause as it stood, would have the right to adopt or reject the option, just as they thought proper. He would endeavour to explain a middle course between the absolute adoption or rejection of the permissive powers of the Bill, and things remaining as they were. He would propose his Amendment to Clause 5 stipulating that all the School Boards now existing in certain areas with populations above 10,000 and 20,000 should constitute the administrative educational authority. He did not tie himself down to the figures he had mentioned, and it would be competent for the Committee to alter them. What would happen if the Amendment were accepted? They were all aware that the School Boards in towns, and in urban districts of a considerable size, had for the last thirty years conducted education with the utmost possible efficiency in the schools over which they had entire control; and he had no reason to believe that they would not provide equally efficient education in the voluntary schools in their districts, if they were made the sole educational authority. His Amendment was that such School Boards should be constituted the executive administrative authority for all board and voluntary schools in their district, and should distribute money provided by the Municipal Councils to the support of such schools. The point of this Bill was that it was necessary and desirable, in the interests of education, that the starved voluntary schools should have the same amount of popular support as the board schools had had for thirty years; and, therefore, his Amendment would rid the question of a very great difficulty. Every denominationalist in the House might accept an Amendment of that kind, because it would at once bring the voluntary schools into the position it was desired that they should occupy; and the School Boards would have the right and duty from the rates to bestow their support on all schools alike for the purposes of elementary education. The local authority or Municipal Council as provided in Clause 1 would still retain its paramount position; it would be the source of all expenditure, and, therefore, would have the control of all expenditure, the executive action for educational purposes only resting on the School Boards. Very large benefit would, in his opinion, result from the continued action of the School Boards as the administrative educational authority. They had behind them thirty years of educational experience; they had dealt systematically with the elementary education of the country, with the result that, in some respects, it was second to none in the world; they represented enlightened public opinion in reference to education in their localities; they had enlisted among their members some of the most respected representatives of all denominations, especially of the Church of England, in the large centres of population; and, with one or two exceptions, these representatives of various religions had sunk their differences on the School Boards, and had worked together for the common good of the elementary training of the children in their respective localities. There were over 2,000 members of School Boards devoting most of their time to educational work, and they had two and a half millions of children in their schools. It was impossible, from a business point of view, to find a better or more equitable system of representing public opinion in reference to elementary education, than was to be found in the action and experience of the School Boards. They might, of course, not be theoretically perfect—the Leader of the House admitted that few schemes were—but whatever scheme was adopted, they would not have in the country, for the next twenty - five years, an equally practical authority. Why, then, throw away at once all the splendid experience, all the ripe knowledge, and all the perfect confidence of the people of the country, as regarded educational administration, which the School Boards possessed, when, by retaining them, they could accomplish all the Bill aimed at, namely, equal treatment for the voluntary schools under popular control, efficient education all round, with the local authority as the fountain head for the money necessary for education, and also the authority to control and finally decide what money should be spent on elementary education? He could not conceive how any business community could throw away such splendid power of direction, such experience and knowledge in the conduct of educational affairs, as would be thrown away if the Clause, as it stood, was passed. Even if the option were withdrawn, he should still object to Part 111 of the Bill, as the local authorities would at once be the responsible directors of elementary education, without any knowledge or experience, and many of them with riot much goodwill, he could conceive that the local authorities would have great difficulty in appointing committees, and that, in appointing such committees, they would not satisfy the public opinion of the locality. The Amendment would satisfy public opinion immediately; it would satisfy, he believed, every voluntary school manager, and would satisfy the demand for the public control of public funds. Under the existing system there was great friction. The School Boards demanded from the rating authority any sum of money they liked to spend in their own way; but, under his Amendment, that authority would be withdrawn, and the amount of money to be spent would rest entirely with the local authority while the School Boards would carry out education to the best of their ability. Every demand of the Bill would be satisfied if his Amendment were accepted; and the least possible disturbance would be created in the country by the great changes, they were introducing. He submitted that the case for his Amendment was overwhelmingly strong from every point of view. Under it there would be practical business management, the best knowledge arid experience would be enlisted for the purposes of elementary education in the more populous areas, the voluntary schools would be put on the level of the board schools, and the local authority would decide what money was to be spent in carrying on education. If the Amendment were accepted, it would enable them to pass on to and settle some very difficult questions more easily than would otherwise be likely to be the case if the Clause were not amended in the direction he had indicated. He himself should be willing to have the option withdrawn for localities below a certain population, but so far as the great centres of population were concerned, his Amendment would very much strengthen the advantage which the country would derive from the change which they were endeavouring to make in this system of national education, and would give great satisfaction to all educationists. It would also rid every School Board election of anything like religious strife, because the School Boards would be elected for educational purposes only, and would not represent any particular religious denomination. There would be no quarrel between voluntary and board schools; and the best men interested in education would endeavour to make their own locality the best educated in the Kingdom, with the greatest possible advantages, not only to particular localities, but to the country generally.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 26, after the word 'shall,' to insert the word 'not.'"—(Sir William Mather.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'not' be there inserted."

(4.0.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR

said that, as he understood the Amendment, it was the preface or introduction to a scheme which in certain selected communities would substitute the existing School Boards for the local education authority proposed by Clause 1 of the Bill. Under those circumstances, he asked for a ruling as to whether the Amendment as interpreted by the speech of the hon. Member opposite was really in order, and whether the Committee had not already determined that it was not the School Board who was to be the local education authority, but the various bodies mentioned under Part I of the Bill.


, interposing, said it was not his intention by the Amendment to establish a local education authority independent of, or varying from, that established under Clause 1 of the Bill. All he suggested was that when they adopted Part III of the Bill, the manner of the adoption should be such that the. School Boards existing in these places today should be the executive administrative authorities of local education authorities. Inasmuch as, all the financial power was retained in the hands of the local education authority, he thought the existing School Boards might well be retained as an administrative School Committee.


, on a point of order, submitted that the scheme of the hon. Member must be one of two things. The School Board in such a case must either be a new local education authority, or it must be a new education committee. If it was the first, it was contrary to the principle of the Bill; and if the second, the Amendment would come up more properly under Clause 12.

MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)

also expressed the opinion that this Amendment should come under Clause 12.


said the Amendment was not open to the dilemma raised by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, because it dealt with districts in which the system might not be exercised; and if the option was not exercised, then the School Board would remain the education authority.


It seems to mo, having regard to the explanation of the hon. Member, that this would not be a fresh education authority, neither would it be a Committee; it would be a nondescript sort of an arrangement, which would not come under the term either of a fresh local education authority or that of a committee, because it would not be elected or appointed by the local education authority. Therefore, I hardly know what name to give it.


Under the scheme of the Bill, the Education Committee is to be arranged by the County Council. It is not necessary under the Bill that it should be elected by the County Council.


said his contention was that where this option was not exercised by a district, the School Board continued to exist. By Clause, a local education authority was created, but if the authority did not adopt the power under the Bill, the School Board continued. That point was brought before the House on the occasion of the First Reading, with great power and lucidity, by the right hon. Member for Cambridge University. The anomaly was far greater than he or anyone else could hope to correct by an Amendment. He only tried to help the Government out of their dilemma.


It seems to be a doubtful point, and I think the best course is to give the hon. Member the benefit of the doubt.


said as the lion. Member had been given the benefit of the doubt he would endeavour to answer the Amendment as briefly as possible. The plan of the Government was perfectly well understood. The hon. Gentleman opposite proposed to leave the education authority as established by Clause 1 and to give it no power at all. All power was to be exercised by the School Board except the power of the purse. Did the power of the purse mean, as it ought to mean, that the Borough Council were to have the right to review the decisions come to by the School Boards? If so, then the School Board, an elective body like themselves, elected by the same constituency, was to be put under the thumb of the Borough Council. If, on the other hand, the Borough Council were to have no power to review the schemes of the School Board, then it would be found that the School Board was the real education authority, and the Borough Council had no authority except to find the money the School Board demanded.


said it was quite a simple matter, well understood in America. It worked extremely well in Massachusetts.


said he had not lately refreshed his memory as to the educational practice of America, but was he to understand that in that very practical country one of two bodies elected by the same constituents was subordinate to the other?


said they were both answerable to the ratepayers.


said every elected body was ultimately answerable to its constituents. He did not know whether it worked well in Massachusetts, but it was not a plan that he should recommend the Committee to adopt.


said the right hon. Gentleman did not seem to realise that his lion, friend's object was to improve the Government scheme and make it workable. His hon. friend realised that the Government were in a considerable difficulty in this matter, and he suggested that if the option was to be a reality it was only fair that something should be substituted for it, and that the voluntary schools should be given the small amount which they were to receive under the option, if that option were not exercised. The right hon. Gentleman had not appreciated that part of the hon. Member's argument. The hon. Member wished to provide for the case of the voluntary schools in districts where the option was not exercised, and where, in consequence, the voluntary schools would be placed in a position of difficulty if some such plan as was suggested were not adopted. The hon. Member, at the same time, wished in the case of boroughs where the Borough Council desired to retain the School Board for the time being, and at the same time desired to retain their voluntary schools, to enable this to be done. Under the plan suggested, both those objects could be attained. The right hon. Gentleman had said he could not see how it would work, but his hon. friend had given the example of Massachusetts, which he himself was in a position to confirm. There they had a Municipal Council and an elected School Committee which was the administrative committee which carried out the whole of the school work, and was not interfered with. The only part in which control was exercised by the Municipal Council was on the question of money. If the School Committee made an excessive or inordinate demand for money, that demand could be refused by the Council. There was no difficulty in practice, for the reason that the law of the State regulated the standard of education which the School Committee was bound to give, and if the School Committee was prepared to show that it had given that education and no more, that it had not indulged the people with educational luxuries, then the municipal authority would be bound to meet the demand which the School Committee made upon it. In point of fact, that system worked well not only in Massachusetts but in all the States of New England, and no difficulty arose. It was quite true that any one studying the theory of the system could suggest endless difficulties. The right hon. Gentleman's ingenuity might suggest difficulties in that system, but in point of fact it worked to perfect satisfaction. The suggestion of his hon. friend was neither that of an educational authority nor that of a Committee, so that it was not upon to the objection that it interfered with Clause 1, on the one hand, or with later clauses on the other. It was an attempt to deal with a case which the Bill omitted to touch—the case in which local option was not exercised—and he hoped it would be accepted.

* SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

said that the right hon. Gentleman made the meaning of the Amendment clearer, but he was still not certain that those who agreed with the mover as to the admirable character of the work which had been done by the existing School Boards, and as to the superiority of that work over any they were likely to get from the rural counties, would be well advised to support it. If the option clause remained, they would be left alone for the present, and from what he knew of rural counties, they would far rather be left alone than have this intermediate plan by which they would be put financially under the control of the County Council. Personally, he feared the discussion was only of academic interest, as it seemed extremely probable that the Government intended to allow the option to be knocked out of the Bill. But the Committee had to consider the matter as it stood, and, on the very grounds of efficiency urged by his lion, friend, his judgment, as at present advised, went rather against the Amendment than for it.


agreed as to the immense importance of utilising, as far as possible in the new education authorities, the experience of those who had hitherto done so much in the work of education. There were men of all denominations and of all shades of opinion, who were devoted to the cause of education, and had served on the School Boards, but the machinery by which the hon. Member proposed that their assistance should be availed of was wholly inefficient, and would really defeat its own object. Personally, he would like to see some arrangement by which the original Education Committees, at all events, would be largely composed of members of the existing School Boards—say that the School Board should nominate one-half, and the Council the other. It was necessary that the Councils should have some control over the Committees, but, at the same time, he thoroughly agreed that they should avail themselves of the services of those who in the past had to a large extent conducted the education of the country. In a district just outside London in which he lived, they had for some years an admirable arrangement. In that district there were Church, Roman Catholic, and British or Nonconformist schools. A difficulty arose about keeping the British schools going, and, as a School Board was not desired, a Committee was formed on which all the schools were represented. A meeting was held once a year, the educational prospects of, the schools were discussed, and a voluntary rate was levied and applied by the Committee to the support of the schools. That system worked well for a time, but, finally, certain Nonconformists asked why they should pay so much to keep their schools going, when under a School Board they could have, at the public expense, the same kind of religious instruction as was given in the British schools. So that what formerly were British schools were now run by a School Board, while at the same time the Church and Roman Catholic schools were maintained at the expense of the denominations concerned. The Bill would restore their old system, but, instead of a Committee, they would have the Education Authority, and instead of a voluntary, a compulsory rate, to distribute fairly over the locality. As he had already said, the Amendment would defeat its own object, because Clause 5 would enact that the following sections should not apply in certain areas, and Section 8, which was one of those sections, contained all the directions as to the maintenance of different classes of schools. Therefore, if the Amendment were carried, it would cut out all the machinery necessary for carrying out the spirit of the proposal. He would, however, be glad to see the Amendment brought up in a modified form and discussed on Clause 12.

* MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

, said he was one of those Members of the House who had had the advantage of closely studying on the spot the American system, in repeated visits to the United States during the last thirty years. He thought the hon. Member for Rossendale had rendered a service in bringing forward this Amendment. If the First Lord had had an opportunity of examining some of the recent American reports dealing with the exact relations of the School Committees to the local authorities in the great American cities, he would have seen that the present Amendment was worthy of consideration. Under the Bill as it stood, where the option was not exercised, the School Board would be left in existence unaltered, and under exactly the same conditions as before. Obviously, that would be unworkable in view of the proposals of the Bill, and the principle of co-ordination and correlation to be put in force. If the School Boards were to he retained in any form whatever, they would have to be co-ordinated and brought into harmony with the superior authority, which dealt with the whole county area. In America there was in every case the financial control of the superior authority over the elected, appointed, or nominated executive education authority. He did not think anybody would advise the adoption of the American plan of education pure and simple, but he believed the suggestion of his hon. friend pointed towards the proper solution of the matter. If some such provisions for the full development and co-ordination of all branches of education and all classes of schools were not adopted, they would be open to the imputations which had for years been cast at defenders of School Boards. The mistake had always been that they failed frankly to recognise the fact that there were 3,000,000 children in voluntary schools, for whose education adequate provision had to be made, and that some solution must be found of this problem. It was a cardinal error of policy, for which he had repeatedly reproached the leaders of the Liberal Party for not having the courage to face and deal with on adequate and satisfactory lines. Now, as regards the proposal of the Amendment, however the Bill, was worked out, he believed it would arrive at some such solution as that suggested by his hon. friend. He believed they would arrive at some-thing like an ad hoc, authority everywhere for elementary education. He thought the suggestions of his hon. friend were well deserving of the support of the Committee, as pointing to a via media which would remove the risk of serious mischief under this clause.

MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid)

said that he sympathised with the spirit of the Amendment, although it was difficult to follow its object, he had not been to America or Massachusetts, and he desired to ask a few questions as to the position of the nondescript body which would remain if this Amendment were carried. Where the option was not exercised, the School Boards would remain in existence. His hon. friend did not propose that this new body was to have the same power and position as the School Boards, but he did propose that the voluntary schools should come within the jurisdiction of this new body, and it was to have control, not' only of the board schools, but also of voluntary schools, and full jurisdiction over the whole of the elementary education in its own district. They would probably have the appointment of the managers and the power of the purse, because they would have all the administrative powers and duties of the local authority. As the Chairman had read this Amendment, this new body was to be neither an educational authority nor an educational Committee, and it was very difficult to follow what it was to be. The phraseology of the Amendment which his hon. friend had on the Paper, at the foot of page 12, showed that this body was to have all the administrative powers and duties of a local authority, without the power to raise money, by serving a precept on the rating authority. The position would be that this body could not raise money itself, but it would have to go, cap in hand, to the Borough or Urban District Council. This seemed to him to be a sort of Chinese puzzle. If his contention was wrong, he should be glad to receive any further information from the mover of the Amendment, although he might say that, whatever was the explanation, he should vote for the Amendment, because whenever his hon. friend proposed to negative any portion of this Bill he should support him.

MR. GRIFEITH (Anglesey)

said it would be very useful to know whether this Clause was going to be made compulsory or not, and he submitted that the time had now come when the Government ought to make up their mind and communicate their decision to the Committee.

(4.38.) Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes. 103; Noes, 246. (Division List No.280.)

Allan, Sir William (Gateshead Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Paulton, James Mellor
Allen, Charles P.(Glouc., Stroud Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Philipps, John Wynford
Asquith, Rt. Hn. HerbertHenry Hardie, J. Keir(Merthyr Tydvil Pirie, Duncan V.
Atherley-Jones, L. Harmsworth, R. Leicester Priestley, Arthur
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Harwood, George Rea, Russell
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale- Rickett, J. Compton
Brand, Hon. Arthur G. Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D. Rigg, Richard
Brigg, John Helme, Norval Watson Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Broadhurst, Henry Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Robertsen, Edmund (Dundee)
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Horniman, Frederick John Russell, T. W.
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Schwann, Charles E.
Burt, Thomas Jacoby, James Alfred Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Joicey, Sir James Shipman, Dr. John G.
Caine, William Sproston Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Caldwell, James Kitson, Sir James Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R.(N'rthants
Cameron, Robert Labouchere, Henry Stevenson, Francis S.
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Lambert, George Strachey, Sir Edward
Cawley, Frederick Layland-Barratt Francis Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Cremer, William Randal Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.
Crombie, John William Leigh, Sir Joseph Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Leng, Sir John Thomas, DavidAlfred(Merthyr)
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Levy, Maurice Thomas, JA(Glamorgan, Gower
Duncan, J. Hastings Lewis, John Herbert Tomkinson, James
Dunn, Sir William Lough, Thomas Toulmin, George
Elibank, Master of M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Emmott, Alfred M'Kenna, Reginald Wallace, Robert
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Markham, Arthur Basil Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Fenwick, Charles Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Weir, James Galloway
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Morley, Charles (Breconshire) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Moss, Samuel Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Fuller, J. M. F. Moulton, John Fletcher
Furness, Sir Christopher Norman, Henry
Goddard, Daniel Ford Norton, Capt. Cecil William TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick) Nussey, Thomas Willans Sir William Mather and
Griffith, Ellis J. Partington, Oswald Mr. Channing.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Bull, William James Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas
Acland, Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Carew, James Laurence Esmonde, Sir Thomas
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Carlile, William Walter Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Fardell, Sir T. George
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Fergusson, Rt. Hn. SirJ.(Manc'r
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Finch, George H.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Bailey, James (Walworth) Chapman, Edward Fisher, William Hayes
Bain, Colonel James Robert Coddington, Sir William FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-
Baird, John George Alexander Coghill, Douglas Harry Eitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon
Balcarres, Lord Cohen, Benjamin Louis Flynn, James Christopher
Baldwin, Alfred Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Galloway, William Johnson
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r. Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Gardner, Ernest
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Garfit, William
Balfour, RtHnGeraldW.(Leeds Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H.(CityofLond.
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Cranborne, Viscount Gordon, Hn. J. E.(Elgin&Nairn)
Banbury, Frederick George Cripps, Charles Alfred Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'mlets
Bartley, George C. T. Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Cubitt, Hon. Henry Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Dalkeith, Earl of Grant, Corrie
Beresford, LordCharles William Dalrymple, Sir Charles Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Delany, William Gretton, John
Bigwood, James Denny, Colonel Groves, James Grimble
Bill, Charles Dickson, Charles Scott Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Blundell, Colonel Henry Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Gunter, Sir Robert
Boland, John Dillon, John Hall, Edward Marshall
Bond, Edward Donelan, Captain A. Hamilton, RtHnLordG (Midd'x
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Doogan, P. C. Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.
Boulnois, Edmund Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashford
Bousfield, William Robert Doxford, Sir William Theodore Harris, Frederick Leyerton
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Haslam, Sir Alfred S.
Bowles, T. Gibson (Lynn Regis) Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Hayden, John Patrick
Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Middlemore, JohnThrogmorton Royds, Clement Molyneux
Heath, James (Staffords, N. W. Mildmay, Francis Bingham Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Higginbottom, S. W. Molesworth, Sir Lewis Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Hoare, Sir Samuel Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E. Mooney, John J. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Hogg, Lindsay Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Morgan, David J(Walthamstow Seely, Maj. J. E. B.(Isle of Wight
Hornby, Sir William Henry Morrison, James Archibald Seton-Karr, Henry
Horner, Frederick William Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew
Hoult, Joseph Murphy, John Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Murray, Rt. Hn. AGraham(Bute Simeon, Sir Barrington
Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Smith, James Parker (Lanarks
Hudson, George Bickersteth Myers, William Henry Spear, John Ward
Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Newdigate, Francis Alexander Stanley, Hon. Arthur(Ormskirk
Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred. Nicol, Donald Ninian Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset
Joyce, Michael Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Kennedy, Patrick James O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh) O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Sullivan, Donal
Laurie, Lieut.-General O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Lawson, John Grant O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ
Loamy, Edmund O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Thorburn, Sir Walter
Lee, ArthurH. (Hants, Fareham O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N. Thornton, Percy M.
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage O'Malley, William Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie O'Mara, James Trinton, Charles Ernest
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Orr Ewing, Charles Lindsay Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Tully, Jasper
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Parker, Sir Gilbert Valentia, Viscount
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S. Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington Wanklyn, James Leslie
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Percy, Earl Warr, Augustus Frederick
Lowe, Francis William Pierpoint, Robert Welby, Lt.-Col. A. CE(Taunton
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Platt-Higgins, Frederick Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Plummer, Walter R. Willox, Sir John Archibald
MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Maenamara, Dr. Thomas J. Randles, John S. Wilson, John (Glasgow)
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Rankin, Sir James Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Maconochie, A. W. Reddy, M. Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
MacVeagh, Jeremiah Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Redmond, William (Clare) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B(Cambs. Reid, James (Greenock) Wylie, Alexander
M'Govern, T. Renshaw, Charles Bine Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
M'Iver, SirLewis(Edinburgh W Renwick, George Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
M'Kean, John Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge Young, Samuel
M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Ridley, S. Forde(BethnalGreen
Manners, Lord Cecil Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Martin, Richard Biddulph Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) THELLER FOR THE NOES—
Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfries'hre Robinson, Brooke Sir William Walrond and
Melville, Beresford Valentine Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Mr. Anstruther.
Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Ropner, Colonel Robert
(4.53.) MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)

moved an Amendment on Clause 5 to make Part III., with reference to elementary education, apply "to every local education authority established by this Act." His object in moving the Amendment was to test the question whether Part III. of the Bill was to be optional or universal in its application. When the Bill was first introduced, it was the almost universal opinion among the friends of the Bill that it should be optional, and it extended at that time to many Gentlemen who could not possibly be classed as friends; but they had now come to take a different view on the Option Clause. What all desired was to see created all over the country a properly organised system of education, both secondary and elementary. They did not want a mere patchwork plan, such as they thought would be "produced if this Clause stood as it was, and if the application of this part of the Bill was merely fragmentary and partial in different parts of the country. Above all, they did not wish to see continued a kind of chaos of different authorities, with agitation proceeding, and discontent prevailing, in educational circles, even where it did not exist at present. There were various objections which could be urged from different points of view to the Option Clause. In the first place, there was what he would call the general objection of the local government. He was as strong an advocate as most Members in favour of the freedom of action of local authorities, but he considered that Parliament had a duty towards them, in that it should lay down definite spheres of action, and prescribe definite principles of action for them. In this particular-case, he thought Parliament would not be performing its duty if it simply threw down, as a bone of contention, before the local authorities, the very large and all-important question as to whether they were or were not to have control over the great field of elementary education. It was true, as had been pointed out, that there was some difference of opinion among local authorities with regard to this part of the Bill. He had no desire in any way to minimise that fact, but he would remind the Committee that the large majority of the County Councils, as represented by the County Councils Association, had expressed their general approval of this part of the Bill. But the fact that there was difference of opinion among local authorities as to the desirability of these duties being put upon them was no reason for leaving it a matter of local option, to be wrangled over in every separate County Council. It was a reason for having the question thoroughly debated and decided in this House, whether it was for the good of the country and of education that these duties should be imposed on the various local authorities. What would be the position of the County Councils if this Option Clause were to remain? A good many Members of the House had expressed apprehension that the effect of the Bill would be to introduce in County Councils the element of discord and disunion in matters of education which had not hitherto prevailed. He did not himself regard with great alarm this prospect, provided that the County Councils had definite duties assigned to them by law, but he had considerable apprehension as to the effect of an Option Clause like this, which would leave it open for every section of the community to agitate as to whether this part of the Bill should be applied or not, and whether voluntary schools should be helped from the rates or not. He appealed to the House and the Government not to throw the apple of discord into every County Council in the country, but to have the courage to say whether it was for the good of the nation that these duties should be definitely thrown upon the local authorities. Would the position of the School Boards be an enviable one where this Clause was not adopted? It would be admitted that the position of a School Board existing at the mercy of a County Council, having control over only a limited portion of the field of education, and threatened every three years with extinction, would not be an enviable one, The School Boards would be left in the very limited confines prescribed by the Cockerton judgment. Such a state of things would render "confusion worse confounded," and would make the state of education, with regard to co-ordination and organisation, worse than it was before. And now as to the position of the voluntary schools. If this Clause remained and its adoption were not universal—if its adoption were universal, what would be the use of the Clause?—there would be most hopeless inequality. In one county, where the Clause was adopted, the voluntary school managers would have financial relief, and the cost of their staffs and the upkeep of the buildings taken off their shoulders; while in the next county, where the Clause was not adopted, the voluntary school managers would still have to bear the full financial responsibility. He ventured to think that it would make the discontent on the part of school managers far more emphatic and decided than at present. It would be analogous to what happened in the West of Ireland, where the tenants of one estate enjoyed important benefits and the tenants on the next estate were denied them, and, therefore, felt their position more acutely, and complained of their grievances far more vociferously. He did not think the cause of education would be much advanced by this Clause. He reminded the Committee that it had, by its own action on Clause 2, imposed a duty on the new educational bodies of taking such steps as they thought right to forward all forms of education. There was also the very important financial duty imposed on the Government. The educational authorities which adopted the Act would get grants at the rate of 7s. 6d. for every child in attendance, either at voluntary or non-voluntary schools. But if the authority did not adopt Part III., it would not be entitled to anything more than the diocesan grant of 5s. for every child in the voluntary schools. He contended that these financial proposals would have to be entirely reconsidered if this Clause remained in the Bill. Of course it would he said that the inevitable result of this proposal would be to make all the local authorities adopt Part III. He believed that would be true sooner or later, but before that happened there would be many years of unnecessary discord and wrangling between denominationalists and undenominationalists. They had seen enough within the last few days to make it highly undesirable, on the part of those who valued education, to continue such a state of things in all the local educational authorities in the Kingdom. He thought he had established sufficient grounds to show the Committee that there was every reason to make this part of the Bill, if passed at all. universal in its application. He appealed in the first place to the friends of the Bill. If they wanted the Bill to work harmoniously, if they wanted educational peace, then they should not pass this Clause. He was glad to hear the right hon. Member for Berwick describe this Clause as the most blighting part of the Bill from an educational point of view, and he hoped that the right hon. Gentlemen the Member for South Aberdeen, who had the interests of education so deeply at heart, would be converted, before the discussion ended, to a similar view. He could assure the Committee, as one who would have to take a practical part in the administration of the Bill, that no part of it would produce worse results in regard to educational progress, or which would be more likely to throw the apple of discord amongst educational authorities, than this Clause.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 26, after the word 'apply,' to insert the words 'to every local education authority established by this Act.'"—(Mr. Henry Hobhouse.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

MR. ALFRED HUTTON (Yorkshire, W. R., Morley)

said that his hon. friend had made an earnest appeal to the Committee to accept his Amendment on the ground that it would bring educational peace He ventured to differ from the hon. Member on this particular question; and he thought that if the Amendment were adopted, they would destroy any chance there might be to secure educational peace in the future. In the first place, it would destroy the School Boards, and, in the second place, it would bring increased rates—and neither of these things would produce educational peace. It seemed to him that a great many Members on the other side of the House voted for the Bill because they believed that it would destroy School Boards. They so disliked School Boards and School Board rates that they welcomed the Bill because, as they conceived, it would remove education out of the hands of a special body-taking a direct interest in education, and education alone. Of course, those hon. Members might speak of School Boards in language more polite than that used by the Dean of St. Paul's; but the action of those Members came to the same thing, and achieved the same object which the Dean of St. Paul's had in view. It might be very well for the hon. Baronet the Member for Wigan to throw over the language of the Dean of St. Paul's, but the Dean of St. Paul's was perfectly satisfied with the Bill. If the hon. Baronet could throw over the Dean of St. Paul's, he was logically bound to throw over the Bill. His other point was in regard to the maintenance of the denominational schools on the rates. He could assure the hon. Member for East Somerset that he was mistaken in his belief that to increase the rates would bring educational peace. He did not think that they, on that side of the House, had used very strong or threatening language, nor did they want to do so; but if the Government removed this Clause from the Bill, and compelled the County Council's, whether they wished it or not, to maintain denominational schools out of the rates, and withdrew from the people who paid the rates the power of determining whether they should have School Boards or not, and the management of their own schools—the only way they could ensure the maintenance and continuance of some measure of educational peace, if they placed the financial burden on the shoulders of a very large, powerful, and influential section of the people of this country—then they would not submit to it, but resist it as far as they possibly could. It would be very unwise if the Government were to withdraw this Clause. The effect of the Clause being in the Bill had been to draw a great deal of support to the Bill which it would not otherwise have received. It had been a very useful bait for a good many people who were interested in education, especially in the county boroughs. There were lots of people in the county boroughs who supported the Bill, believing that under it they would be able to maintain their School Boards. The right hon. Gentleman knew that very well when he sent a letter to a correspondent in Newcastle, although it was impossible to say whether that letter was sufficiently persuasive to remove the objections of the hon. Member for Newcastle. There were a good many people in Newcastle who had been friendly to the Bill because they believed that under it they would be able to retain their School Board, but if they found that their splendid educational work was to be paralysed until the new authority had gained experience, it must be evident that that would create difficulty and confusion. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment said that the second Clause laid a command on the local authorities; and he quoted the words at the end of the Clause, "if they think fit." The appeal of the hon. Gentleman was to permit the County Councils to bring their duty with regard to preliminary education up to the same standard as their duty on secondary education. In his opinion, it would be wise to leave to those bodies the option of undertaking these duties if they thought fit. A great number of the County Councils regarded the conduct of education as a nuisance, or had other reasons for thinking that education should be administered as it is at the present time. Therefore, in the interests of education, it would be better to leave to these authorities the option of taking it up or not as they chose. Many County Councils would not do this work willingly if it were forced upon them, and there would not be the zeal and enthusiasm which all desired to see in connection with education. Another danger of the compulsory handing over of education to these authorities, which had not been realised, was the element of officialdom it would import into the administration of the schools. A great deal of the progress under the present system had been due to the close relationship which existed between the Education Department and the school managers, and a great deal of that would now be lost if this option were taken away. He hoped the Government would therefore not remove this Clause, which, in his opinion, was of great value. If in time to come it was found that the County Councils took up these duties, and carried them out efficiently and well, and there were only one or two County Councils which did not properly carry out the work, then the Government could come again to the House for powers to compel them to do so.

(5.22.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR

said the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had supported the Clause as it appeared in the Bill of the Government, but he had supported it on grounds which did not appeal to the Government, and grounds which did not influence them in framing it. The hon. Gentleman liked the Clause because he disliked the Bill; he liked the Clause because it would, no doubt, enable School Boards to continue in certain districts, and because he was very anxious that nothing should be done to put the voluntary schools upon a sound educational basis. Those might be, from the hon. Gentleman's point of view, very good reasons for asking them to adhere to the Clause, but he need hardly say they were not the reasons which induced them to place the Clause there originally. Those who desired the scheme of the Bill to be of universal application, would be induced by such arguments as they had heard rather to abandon than to adhere to the Clause. He had already explained that the introduction of this Clause was a limitation of the scheme of the Bill; and their reason had been that they were reluctant to do anything unnecessary to force the hands of the local authorities. That really was their sole reason. Reasons had now been urged to which they did not attach much weight, though he wished to treat them with all respect, reasons which had been alluded to with threat caution and good taste. Hon. Gentlemen had indicated with great reserve their fear lest any attempt to make this Bill of universal application should produce social disorganisation in the counties, and lead to something in the nature of a rate war. He did not anticipate any such result, and he should deeply deplore a course of action which, even if taken on conscientious grounds, was of a kind which no citizen of this country ought to talk of, much less indulge in. Some hon. Gentlemen disapproved of the manner in which rates or taxes were applied. It was the common fate of citizens in this country not to agree in these matters. They could not, and did not, all agree; and there were very few questions of great public interest which did not involve, either in the form of rates or taxes, some expenditure of public money. If they were to admit that citizens, whenever they disapproved of the policy pursued by local authorities, wore justified in refusing to pay their debts to the community, they would be adopting a quite unworthy course. Could there ever be a less justifiable method of conducting controversy than by such a rate war? Could any human being urge that it was an essential part of public morality that public money, collected by the tax gatherer, might be used for certain purposes, while the use of similar money collected by the rate-collector might be so immoral as to justify the resort to extremities? When he remembered that in his own country not only taxes but rates were habitually used for supporting schools in which denominational teaching took place, and that whatever might be said of the education of Ireland, nobody who knew its real working could pretend that the education in Ireland was undenominational in any true sense of the word; and when he recollected that even in this country, in connection with other classes of schools, they supported denominational education partly out of rates, it certainly did appear to him that if any such action were taken it would be most unhappy, illogical, and immoral. The only argument which could ever induce thorn to keep this Clause was that as to the desirability of not binding the county authorities unnecessarily; and that argument, he thought, carried some weight. But one or two things had happened since the Bill was introduced. In the first place, they had greatly mitigated, if they had not altogether removed, one of the strongest reasons which, conceivably, might have induced the county authorities to be reluctant to take upon their shoulders the administrative burden of this Bill, inasmuch as they had done much to alleviate the financial burden. On the other hand, if the Bill was to remain as it was, two things would happen which the Government did not contemplate when the Bill was introduced and did not attach the same value or weight to as they now did. He was afraid it was more clear than it was at one time that, if this matter was left open as the Clause left it open, the result must be that they would introduce into County Councils and into the elections of County Councils elements of difficulty and friction which had never been introduced in these Councils or elections before. It might be that from many points of view the Bill would not conduce to peace. But one thing was absolutely certain, that, in the temper of a certain important section of the community at this moment, it would be made a test question at every election in a county—"Are you going to vote for the adoption of the Bill, or are you not?" and the County and Borough Councils, when elected, would be torn asunder by the same embarrassing controversy. There were two other points which had emerged since the Bill was introduced. One referred to another aspect of the point he had just dealt with—namely, the financial assistance to be given by the Treasury under the Clause now on the Paper, and not part of the original Bill. That financial assistance, if this Clause remained, might be given in county A and might not be given in county B adjoining. They might say that this would be county B's fault; but he thought that this very great disparity between the contributions from the Exchequer to counties which did not adopt the Bill would produce a state of financial confusion which could not fail to be extremely embarrassing and productive of a great deal of local heartburning. The other point referred to the training of teachers. The profoundest interest was expressed in that question by hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House. The general conclusion at which they arrived was that the training of teachers could only be organised on a satisfactory basis if the machinery organising it was not necessarily confined, or perhaps not even generally confined, to a single county. The Government contemplated the distinct co-operation of counties in the training of teachers. It might be replied that this co-operation only referred to secondary education, and that the training of teachers in the later stage of their career was left untouched by the Clause, because it only referred to primary education. He did not think that the argument was sound. There must be a scheme dealing with the teacher question rising from primary to secondary education, and embracing all the stages up to the training college stage, as well us the training college itself. That could not be properly carried out by a group of counties if one county refused to adopt the Bill, nor by a single county if important boronghs within the area of the county refused to adopt it. It would inevitably produce a degree of confusion and dislocation in any broad scheme for dealing with this most pressing problem of education; and, in these circumstances, it would be a most serious thing if a parti-coloured system of education were allowed to prevail all over the country. The changes in the position which he had indicated would induce him personally to vote for his hon. friend's Amendment. He would not attempt to make it a Government question, because it was one of those questions which might be very properly left to the judgment of the House itself.

SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

said he was glad that the right hon. Gentleman had left the question to the uncontrolled decision of the House. He should briefly state the reasons why he intended to vote against the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman had devoted a considerable portion of his speech to the reasons which induced the Government to incorporate this Clause in the Bill, and to the reasons which now induced them to strike it out. The right hon. Gentleman appeared to take up the position that he did not wish to cocrce the local authorities. Secondary education was to be permissive, but the authorities were to be coerced in respect of primary education. The right hon. Gentleman had given no reason for this action. He submitted that it was most injurious for the cause of education to impose upon unwilling authorities a system for carrying out provisions which, if they could, they would decline to undertake the working of. Many of the authorities wore unwilling to undertake these new duties, because they had enough work to do now which they could properly manage. This new work was far more onerous than any they were accustomed to transact; and from the point of view of business and efficiency the authorities were naturally disinclined to undertake a task for the discharge of which they felt that they were not fully equal, and which might make them in their county business less efficient than they were at present. They had heard of the management of the voluntary schools, and he could understand the Councils taking over the management of a school of their own making. Under these circumstances they would say: "We will see what we can do," but they were to take over the management of 14,000 schools throughout the country over which they had not full control. Could anybody wonder that a body of business men should shirk a duty of that kind, and doubt their power to manage this enormous number of schools? Then there was the question of the rate. Everyone who knew anything about the counties knew that an addition to the rate was in itself one of the most formidable questions which could be faced by a County Council. Though there was some assistance from the Exchequer, the rate would always remain as a drag against the interests of education. That was a body which the people would trust for the purpose and support with the rates. But if a rate was levied by a body which was unwilling to undertake the duty, the effect upon education would be extremely injurious. It was idle to say that there was not also another enormous difficulty. It was no use shutting their eyes to the fact that the religious question would come in. Could it be wondered at if the County Councils were unwilling to introduce that element into their elections and their constitution? They naturally had a disinclination to have their elections or constitution influenced—poisoned it might be—by considerations to which they had hitherto been entire strangers. The moment rates were employed for the support of denominational schools, the County Council elections would be made the fighting ground of different religious sections. That would be a perfectly legitimate action on the part of persons who were interested in questions of this character. They had a complete right, both constitutionally and morally, to seek to elect representatives of their own opinion to the Councils, and, therefore, the religious question would he a perpetual influence, working, in his opinion, against the interests of education. For his part, quite apart from the religious question, he objected to public money, in the form of rates, being applied to denominational schools, and it was only natural that persons sharing that view should seek to be represented on these Councils, just as those who entertained certain views upon other public affairs endeavoured to secure the election of representatives who would give effect to the principle to which they attached importance. There were County and Borough Councils who would prefer to be left alone in this matter, who believed they already had as much to do as they could properly manage, and who felt that they were not well fitted to undertake this enormous task. But by this proposal the duty was being forced upon them, and unhappy elements were being introduced into their elections—not only the religious difficulty, but also the political difficulty involved in the giving of public money to he disposed of by private persons. Such a course of action would strike a blow at the principles of local self-government, and at the independence and authority of local self-governing bodies which had been recently established. There were in existence in many boroughs bodies which had been doing the work of elementary education perfectly satisfactorily, and to force those bodies to abandon it, in order that it might be taken up by other bodies which were averse to it, seemed to be a policy unwise in principle, detrimental to education, and fatal to the respect which ought to be paid to local self-government.

*(5.52.) DR. MACNAMAHA (Camberwell, N.)

sincerely hoped the permissive application of the Bill to elementary education would be struck out. He fully recognised that the largely predominating opinion on that side of the House was in favour of the retention of the option, but his friends would doubtless bear with him whilst he explained why he took a different view. What were the broad facts with regard to elementary schools? The First Lord had stated that there were 5,500,000 elementary school children—3,000,000 in voluntary schools, and 2,500,000 in board schools. Every member of the Committee would agree that the education of each child in the voluntary schools was as great a matter of national importance as that of each child in the board schools; and that what was educationally necessary and desirable for the one, was equally necessary and desirable for the other. But the financing of the two systems was entirely different. The finances of both came, to a certain extent, from the central Exchequer, but the Exchequer grants were not sufficient to conduct the schools properly. In the case of the board schools, the essential supplement was derived from public funds, while in the case of the voluntary schools charitable contributions had to be relied upon. The net result was that, although the Exchequer moiety was about the same in each case, last year each voluntary school child received in the way of local support 6s. 5d., and each board school child 25s. 6d., or a disability, roughly speaking, of 20s. per voluntary school child. He appealed to every progressive educationist to insist that that difference must be in some way removed, or the children in the voluntary schools would be improperly educated. One direct result of this condition of things was that, excluding juvenile pupil teachers, ex-pupil teachers, arid "Articles 68," there was in the board schools one certificated adult and properly qualified teacher for every seventy-six children (under the London Board there was one to every forty-five children) whereas the voluntary schools had one certificated teacher to every 103 children. As to the total expenditure on maintenance, last year the Roman Catholic schools only were able to secure an expenditure on maintenance from central and private sources of £2 4s. 2¾d. per child, the Church of England schools £2 6s. 7½d. and the board schools £3 0s. 2d. He would quarrel with anybody who suggested waste on the part of the School Boards, and therefore, he was bound to contend that not enough was spent on the majority of children attending the voluntary schools, and, as a progressive educationist, to do what he could to mitigate this financial disabilty. It was time to put an end to the hopeless endeavour to secure education by the aid of charity; it ought to be a public charge. He quite agreed that if the funds came entirely from public sources the measure of public control must be strengthened. But that was being done. The First Lord had already said that if there was any doubt in respect of Clause 12 as to the Education Committee being the direct servant of the public authority, the matter should be made clear when that Clause was reached. The scheme was to be a genuine scheme of municipalisation, and the Education Committee was to conduct its general proceedings in public, and report to its parent Council. That was a distinct advance on the present system, and he was certain that, when they came to Clause 8 (e) a strong effort would be made, even from the Government side of the House, to increase the popular representation upon the management. He rejoiced at the extreme liberality with which Members on the other side had approached many of these difficult questions; they had frequently met the Opposition more than half way. Clauses 2 and 4 had been revolutionised, and if the same spirit of liberality were shown on Clause 8 he believed the hon. Gentleman would secure a larger measure of popular control over this public money. If that were not secured, his position would be to a considerable extent modified. He thought that before this Bill was passed into law they could improve it out of recognition by its original authors. If this option remained, what would be the result? He should like to know whether hon. Members thought for a moment, if the option remained, that the local authorities would generally adopt Part III. and rate themselves for elementary education. He did not think for a moment that they would do so, and that was why he wanted this option struck out, for he wanted somebody to do something, and he was quite tired of these bodies contracting themselves out of this obligation of doing something. If the option remained, local authorities generally would decline to rate themselves. They had eight county boroughs and 500 other urban districts, and practically half the entire agricultural area of the country, which had never yet had a rate for elementary education, and did the Committee think that in those districts they would now tumble one over the other, if left to themselves, to impose a rate for education. In those districts where they had not had a rate it was said that they preferred denominational teaching, but he did not think he was doing any injustice when he said that with regard to the great bulk of these people the real preference was not for denominational education, but for a system which enabled them to escape payment for either one or the other system. That was why he was asking that this option should go out. The Vice President of the Council once said that the people of this country would rather stand any form of religious instruction in the elementary schools than pay a rate for education, and he had the felicity of being in entire agreement with him upon that occasion at least. Take, for example, the agricultural districts whose representatives told them that education took the people off the land. Would those districts use this privilege of rating themselves for elementary education? Take the case of the great bulk of districts whose voluntary schools were so badly equipped today, and whose school buildings were so antiquated. In these districts he had spoken upon the education question, and they told him that they preferred denominational teaching. That was profoundly true of a large number of devoted religious people; but with regard to the great bulk of the people it was simply a preference for cheapness, a preference for a system which enabled them to escape payment of a rate for education. In Preston the entire amount of money raised locally for the year ending August, 1899, by voluntary subscriptions was £4,400, or on the rateable value less than 3d. in the £. That money was only raised by a few devoted people who believed in denominational education, and they paid more than they would do if education was considered as a communal obligation. But the great bulk of the people paid nothing at all, and these were the people who said they preferred denominational education. This sum of 3d. in the £ had to be contrasted with a mean rate of Is. in the £. Let them contrast that state of things with the educational zeal displayed by the neighbouring town of Bolton, where they found 19s. 8d. per head out of the rates for the children in board schools. No doubt the people in Preston would tell them they preferred the good old days. The Government sent down the whisky money to Preston, and they spent half of it to relieve the rates, and that was why he was in favour of striking out this option and compelling these people to do something. The town of Stockport also preferred denominational instruction, and would not have a board school under any circumstances, and this was also the case with Wigan and St. Helens. What happened? For the year ending the 31st of August, 1899, the entire local contribution for education in Stockport, was.£700, or a rate of about ½d. in the £. He wanted to make them do something more than that. Personally, he had taught in many different kinds of schools, and he had never found any parent complain of any religious instruction whatever. But he had found them keen on not paying. Suppose the people agreed not to adopt this part of the Act, what would be the result? The voluntary schools would continue to be starved, and if time permitted he could draw a pathetic picture of many of the voluntary schools throughout the country. They would remain starved, the classes would remain cruelly and unteachably large, with the apparatus stinted and antiquated, and the teaching staff both insufficient and inefficient. Therefore be thought those people should be made to contribute their proper share. The hon. Member below him had said that if the option remained in the Bill the School Boards would be retained. What did that really mean? The School Boards would not be continued in the form in which they had so long been known. They could no longer do night work, or science and art work; they would be ruled down rigidly to teaching children under fifteen years simply the rudiments of education; and, as he saw no means of improving their condition, he did not think it was desirable to retain the School Boards in those circumstances. The result of giving the option would be that the voluntary schools would be starved. The interests of education demanded that they should not shilly-shally any longer with this matter, but compel these people who had gone to work on the cheap to contribute their proper share to the education of the children in their locality. They should apply this Act all round without any option, with a proviso that they must improve, perfect, stiffen, and strengthen the public control over these authorities. That process was going on rapidly, not only with the approval of the Opposition, but also with the assistance of the hon. Members on the other side of the House; and, if this measure was not all that they desired, he thought they would be able so to galvanise the Bill that in ten years time, with the exception of the Catholic schools, it would be difficult to recognise the private denominational schools as Church schools which they knew today.

(6.12.) MR. PHILIPPS (Pembrokeshire)

said the hon. Member who had just sat down appeared to be anxious to make education more expensive and to increase the rates. The hon. Member for North Camber-well had a perfect right to use that argument, but it was a great pity that his constituency was not affected. London did not come within the scope of this Hill, and yet they found a London Member making an eloquent speech to make everybody else outside London pay for something which they did not want. He thought some of them were more entitled to speak on this aspect of the question than the hon. Member for North Camberwell, although he was a great educational expert. The First Lord of the Treasury said that if the option was left in the Bill it would lead to friction at the County Council elections, and it would become a test question whether the Bill was to be adopted or not. He felt certain that if the option was left in, this question would be made a test at every County Council election. This was a matter which would have to be settled at the first County Council election after the passing of the Act, and the electors would be asked whether they were in favour of this part of the Bill or not. Nearly the whole of the Nonconformists on the County Councils would vote against the adoption of this Bill, and so would a great many representative farmers. He did not believe that in the agricultural constituencies there was one county which would adopt the Act if the option was left in. Hon. Members asked why they could not trust the County Councils in this matter. Why could not the Government trust the local bodies and the people to settle what they wanted in each county? He pointed out that the counties in Great Britain varied enormously with regard to the accessibility of the principal towns. There might be many counties where the committee appointed under the Bill would find it extremely difficult to get together, and where the work under the Bill would be enormously heavy. There were other counties where, owing to better railway accommodation, the committee could easily he brought together. Why should not the House leave it to each County Council to say whether their own county was a fit one for the adoption of the Bill or not? The First Lord of the Treasury had stated that the adoption of this Amendment would lead to peace. His own impression was that it would load to friction on County Councils, more than anything which had taken place since they were established. In his own county, a majority of the people were Nonconformists. The elections there were fought out on party, and not on denominational, lines. What would happen if the option clause were left out of the Bill? The board schools and the voluntary schools were something like equal in number. At the present moment the Church people had absolute control of the Church schools. The only way in which the Nonconformists could have control over schools at all was by having board schools. If the Bill were adopted without the option clause, a County Council with a Church and Tory majority of one would be able to control every board school in the county, with the exception, perhaps, of half a dozen which might be in Church hands. Was it likely that the Nonconformists would put up with such a state of things as that? It would mean that the County Council elections would have to be fought on party and sectarian lines. There was also the fact to be considered that the Bill would cause an increase in the rates. He believed that if this Bill became law, the expenses of elementary education in agricultural districts would go up enormously. As a representative of the ratepayers, he held that they ought to have a chance of saying whether the Bill should be adopted or not.

MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)

said the lion. Member for Pembroke had taunted the hon. Member for North Camberwell by stating that he did not represent a constituency affected by the Bill. He represented a Division of West Ham which he believed paid a higher sum than any other throughout the whole country for the support of elementary schools. In that heavily rated district he believed that the preponderance of opinion in the district he represented was in favour of making the Bill compulsory. They already had trouble enough in connection with their Borough Council elections, without having this question introduced. It had been said that this difficulty would recur every three years, but, as a matter of fact, it would recur annually, because one-third of the Council was renewed every year. Every October or November, if the Hill remained optionl, there would be organised attempts to secure the election of members of the Church party, as against members of the chapel party, to settle the question whether the Council should assume powers under the Hill. What would be the attitude of the County Councils and the Borough Councils? They were institutions of younger growth than the School Hoards, and the members of the Councils would be reluctant to crush out of existence authorities which had had jurisdiction longer than themselves. He had heard members of the Councils say that Parliament should make the work obligatory upon them, and not place upon their shoulders the difficult task, under the option clause, of deciding what was to be done. He was surprised to hear hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House come forward with the plea that the Bill would cast a further burden on the ratepayers. The question hero was—How was the State to get the best brain power out of its children over large areas? It was not a question of this sect or that sect, of this authority or that authority. Were they to lose part of the best brain power of the children, which they desired to get, because some local authority hesitated to put the Bill into force? If a County Council declined to apply the Act, many of the microscopic, pettifogging little School Boards would remain who in the past had made it their main aim to reduce the cost of education to the community, regardless of the results. He did not think the protection which would thus be given to School Boards was worth struggling for. The First Lord of the Treasury, in expressing his own opinion on this Amendment, agreed with his hon. friend that the main object of the Bill was reduced in effect so long as he option remained. So long as the option remained it was a contraction of the benefits of the measure. It delayed co-ordination, and left organisation and administration in confusion. The School Board might be admirable, and the County Council might be admirable; but it was essential that the two should be rolled into one. How could the County Council shape out its system of higher education, how could it aid or supply secondary instruction, unless it know what was being done in the elementary schools? So lone as elementary education was under one authority, and secondary education under another, there could be no co-ordination and. co-relation between them—no authority to help young children up the education ladder. Many a lad failed to spring across the gap now fixed between primary and higher education, and his brain power was lost to the State. He, for one, was anxious for one authority which should take the child by the hand at its earliest years up to the last stage of school life, and with a full knowledge of what it was capable of doing. Educational progress made it essential that in every administrative county and county borough one authority should obtain charge of all the elementary and secondary schools, and should have cognizance of all the children within its area. Turning from the educational to the administrative question, he maintained that if option was left in, disorganisation would prevail. Now, there were 300 little School Boards. [An HON. MEMBER: 300 little Councils.] No, that was the mistake often made. When they got a large area for election, with large duties and responsibilities, they secured large-minded men to discharge these duties and responsibilities. Where the area of jurisdiction was limited to the parish, they would necessarily obtain only men with narrow views of their responsibilities, men whose main object was to meet the needs of the moment, and to leave out of account the necessities of the future, men who would have a keener regard to the expenditure of a few pence today than to the product of that expenditure in the years to come. He believed that the transfer of jurisdiction to the County Councils would be the transfer of educational administration and organisation to men with large conceptions of their duties. Let the Committee look for a moment at the contusion that would arise from the option. One county borough would exercise its powers, another would relinquish its right to do so; in some cases there would be a single authority, and in other cases there might be four authorities exercising jurisdiction within the same area. The main plea for the abolition of the option was founded on the needs of the voluntary schools. There wore 3,000,000 children in these voluntary schools, many of whom had the choice to go elsewhere, but had preferred to remain in the voluntary schools. It was often suggested in the House that the children who were in the voluntary schools were there because they had no option; but in town after town, all over the country, where board and voluntary schools were side by side, the parents still preferred the voluntary schools, in spite of the disadvantages which often attended the admission of their children to these schools. Without any regard to the sort of differences of religion, he pleaded with the Committee to do something to protect these children in the voluntary schools, and secure them from the handicapping they had long endured. What was the position? Lack of money had necessitated the employment of incompetent teachers, and those who would keep the clause in its optional form in the Bill would perpetuate in many districts the retention of these incompetent teachers. There were 17,000 young women teachers whose sole qualification for the teaching profession was that they had been vaccinated; and of these 17,000, 14,000 were in the voluntary schools. Managers of these schools would get rid of the incompetent teachers, but they had not the money. Boys and girls were used to teach children—a system which every other country in Europe said could only lead to unsatisfactory results. Was that to be perpetuated 1 He pleaded not for the Church, but he held that every child, whatever the faith of its father, had a right to receive the same treatment from the State and the same opportunities for obtaining the best education possible. He was not prepared to leave it in the power of any administrative county, governed by a feeling of parsimony, to condemn these children to the life of educational poverty which they had too long endured. He wanted equality of treatment, and equal distribution of aid in every part of the country. This Bill h id been argued throughout the country as though the option were out of it. [Mr. BALFOUR: Hear, hear!] No sane man—he cared not what his creed or party politics might be—could believe that it was possible to work this Bill with the option clause in it. So far as he was concerned he would sooner keep the present condition of affairs than take the Bill with the option clause retained in it. This option must go, and he trusted that the Committee would so decide, by such a substantial majority as to show the administrative County Councils that, whatever might be the feeling locally, Parliament was determined that the children in the rural districts should no longer be educationally starved. He could understand some ratepayers, labouring under the present heavy rating, would say that no option only meant another burden; yet he thought it his duty to take a broader outlook than those of his constituents who adopted that view. He saw no reason to be ashamed of that attitude, and he would support the Amendment as far as he could.

(6.40.) SIR JAMES JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)

said he confessed he could not count himself an educational expert, but he had been obliged to give considerable attention to educational matters in his own locality. The position he had always taken was, that where public money was given for educational purposes there should be popular control to see that it was well spent. When they considered there were something like three million children in the voluntary schools at the present time, he looked upon it as almost a hopeless thing to see how they were going to secure the position of these voluntary schools. As the country contributed about four-fifths of their expenditure, he looked with a longing eye for a great deal more public control in their management. Attempts had been made to solve the question in his locality by appointing a Board of managers consisting of seven. Four of them were nominated by the parents of the children attending the schools, and three by the owners. In cases where the clergyman was a sensible and practical man, he had been selected as Chairman of the Board. He could not help thinking that it was a serious disadvantage to this nation that so many children should be attending schools which were not efficiently equipped for the duties they had to discharge. He would welcome any means to bring them into a condition of efficiency. He attributed the difference to the methods of education. He recognised that the board schools existed in large towns where the average intelligence of the child was higher than in the rural districts; but, making all allowances for that, everybody would admit that the board schools gave better results than the voluntary schools. But one reason was that the voluntary schools were often starved. He could give striking illustrations, if he chose, of men of property, staunch Conservatives, who prided themselves upon being the greatest upholders of the Church, who persisted in giving no support to the voluntary schools, and he welcomed any system which would compel them to pay their share to the education of the country. He thought, when they were rated for the support of the voluntary schools, the Government would find that these gentlemen would be in favour of much more public control over the rates than there was at present. He desired to see a national system of education, and he desired to sec the voluntary schools more efficient. It was said that hoard schools obtained the best teachers; he was not surprised. As the hoard schools paid bettor salaries than the voluntary schools, and gave a better chance of promotion, naturally all the best teachers preferred to be connected with the hoard school system. They must take the situation as it was, and do their best to better it. Half a loaf was better than no bread, and he considered this Bill was half a loaf. Directly rates were raised for the voluntary schools, there would be strong pressure brought to bear on the Government to give greater public control, and he thought the host way to obtain efficient education was to support this measure. He looked forward to the time, if this Bill passed, when a more liberal Government would displace the present, and be able to take up the work where it was left by this Bill, and perfect what their predecessors had begun. He thought it would be a great disaster if this Amendment were not carried, and therefore his duty was to support it. He supported it on the ground that the increase in rates and the expenditure for the voluntary schools would be a great benefit to the children, and ultimately to the nation, through the increased efficiency of the children; that the Government would, directly the rates were increased, be compelled to give a larger public control over the schools; and that, if the Committee accepted this system, it would ultimately develop into a national system of education.

MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)

expressed the opinion that this was one of the most important Amendments the Committee had to consider in the whole Bill. The option in the clause was now converted into an option to the supporters of the Government to vote as they pleased. The Bill itself was a Bill to give to one authority the control of all education, and his fear had been that in giving the control of primary and secondary education to one authority, there was a serious danger of overweighting the authority and thus precluding it from giving to secondary education the time and consideration it required. He should have preferred to have given the control only with regard to secondary education, but the Committee had decided otherwise, and the fact would profoundly affect the decision at which they might ultimately arrive. The option in the Bill was, according to the way in which it was viewed, either ridiculous or cruel. It was meant to be an option as to whether these local authorities should undertake to control elementary education or not; but if the local authorities decided not to take over the control of elementary education, great injustice to the voluntary schools was involved. Obviously, as had been stated, an option of the kind I would mean that at every election of a I Borough or County Council this question would be made a test question, and the ratepayer would have to decide whether he preferred to save his money or to help the voluntary schools. The position, therefore, was that on the one hand the authorities were over-weighted by having the control forced upon them of all education at once, with the consequent danger of secondary education being neglected to a greater degree than elementary; and on the other hand, if the option was left in the Bill, and the School Boards were left untouched, they were shorn by the Cockerton judgment of many powers which they possessed in the past. There had to he faced the impossibility of that co-ordination which all desired to secure, and the fact that the School Boards would not have any voice in the training of I the teachers; besides which, there was the new financial proposal of the Government, which would injuriously prejudice ail those bodies which did not adopt Part 3 ! of the Bill. He felt, after great consideration, that he must support the exclusion of this option clause. He would have liked to retain it for the large towns, but he saw the disadvantage of a patchwork system. In larger counties, Councils would necessarily have to institute largo schemes of devolution for management of details.

* MR. PLUMMER (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

said hp was going to vote for this Amendment, but he was going to vote for it without any enthusiasm and with very considerable reluctance. The Committee would understand why he looked upon this vote as a reluctant necessity, when he told them he had for fifteen years served upon the Newcastle School Board—in a not unimportant capacity—which, in his opinion, had done what they considered to be excellent educational work for the town I and naturally he could not with any great enthusiasm take part in a proceeding which must involve, as far as he could see at present, the extinction of that Board in common with other largo School Boards, in the country. It must always be a matter for regret that hon. Members in these debates had divided themselves far too much into two parties, for School Boards or for xoluntary schools. He, with the hon. Member for North Camberwell and one or two others, had been for both board schools and voluntary schools. His sympathies had always been for the cause of education, whether it had been carried out by the voluntary system or by the School Board system. It was for that reason that he welcomed the optional clause when the Bill originally appeared; but when, a few days after, the Bill appeared in print, an examination showed that the exercise of that option involved practically the extinction or the slow starvation of the voluntary schools, then he saw that in reality it was no option at all. It was an option that could only be exorcised at the expense of the voluntary schools. It was for that reason that he ventured to criticise the action of the Government, not because he was against the option itself, but because he was against an option that was no option at all. The complaint some of them had was that they were left to choose between two alternatives—the alternative of maintaining School Boards and starving voluntary schools, and that of extinguishing School Boards and maintaining voluntary schools, and, of course, board schools as well, because the extinction of School Boards did not in any way involve the extinction of board schools. He found himself, in common with the hon. Member for North Camberwell and a few others, in the position of not being able to choose what they liked best, but of having to choose that with they disliked the least. It was upon financial grounds, if for no other reason, that he had reluctantly come to the conclusion that it was better, in the interests of education generally, to adopt this Amendment, with qualifications which, he hoped, would afterwards appear under Clause 12, than to leave the option as it was originally in the Bill. He yet lived in the hope that, when they came to the consideration of Clause 12, some scheme might be devised whereby School Boards in large towns might be maintained, or, if not maintained, revived, and constituted the authority for elementary education, plus, and always provided that that carried with it the obligation to give rate-aid to voluntary schools.

(7.10.) MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

congratulated the hon. Member for Newcastle, who spoke with a peculiar weight upon this matter. With many of the views of the hon. Member he was in entire agreement, but he felt that, holding such views as the hon. Gentleman did with regard to School Board education, he would have more loyally expressed his regard for that institution if he had abstained from voting on this Amendment. One of the reasons given by the hon. Baronet the Member for the Chester-le-Street Division for supporting the Amendment was the possibility, if the Bill became compulsory, that it might be followed by political consequences to the advantage of the Liberal Party, but that was a consideration which ought not to affect the discussion of a Bill of this kind. He was sorry to hear the Member for North West Ham take the line he had with regard to the work done by the rural School Boards. That work had not been by any means perfect, but, being a Member for an agricultural constituency, and knowing the circumstances under which these bodies wore compelled to work, he thought the epithets applied by the hon. Member wore not such as should be generally applied to the School Boards in rural districts. He would, having dealt with these matters, state briefly the grounds upon which lie, at nil events, should not vote for the Amendment. A great deal depended on the final form in which Clause 12 emerged from that House, but they had no kind of assurances from the Government that those alterations would take place which would enable them, conscientiously to vote for this Amendment. He could not vote for it, because he believed that the Bill itself would not conduce to educational peace; and unless they were certain that it would, not light the torch of discoid in every county they ought to hesitate on educational grounds before they voted for the Amendment. One good result of the Amendment had been that it had brought before the Committee and the country the clear issue at stake. The mover of it had stated that the object of the Government was to help the voluntary schools, and it was as well that it should be understood what the object of the Bill was. They did not object to the Amendment on that ground however, but upon the ground that, in helping the voluntary schools in this way, curtain principles they held were violated, and, though that might not be the view of the majority of the Members of the Committee, he and others believed that good educational work could not be done by ! helping schools while by so doing those I helping them violated the principle of justice which, lay at the root of education, as at the root of everything else. Speaking for himself, he believed he best expressed the predominating Welsh opinion when be said that they desired to have a free hand in the matter. If the Bill was a good Bill when it finally left the House, and if greater popular control was given, he had no doubt that every Welsh County Council would elect to exercise the option under this clause. Upon these general grounds, because he feared that if the option was excluded educational peace would not follow, and because he believed that in such a great educational reform they should go hand in hand with public opinion in every part of the country, be should give his veto, against the Amendment.

* MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)

regarded the Clause, which was proposed to be dealt with so cavalierly by this Amendment, as the central Clause of the Bill; and yet, not only on the Treasury Bench, but in every part of the House, it was now being treated as though it were a mere secondary matter. The supporters of the Government had been told that they might vote as they pleased, therefore they might have the appalling spectacle of the two main supporters of the Bill voting in different lobbies, the Vice President going one way, and the First Lord the other. The Amendment had been advocated, not only in the name of education, but also in the name of expense. The hon. Members for North Camberwell and North West Ham had openly avowed that what they were going for was the money. He could not, however, regard with the same satisfaction the enormous increase both of rates and taxation involved in the Bill. But more than once it had suggested itself that the real question at issue was not a question of education, or even of expense, but of predominance-between two Parties in the Ministry; that it was a question of whether the Socinian Nonconformist element of Birmingham or the Episcopalian element of Hatfie'd was to get the upper hand; whether, in short, they were to be led by the seraphic piety of the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich, or whether they were to be chained to the Nonconformist caucus hailing from Birmingham. It was common knowledge that the, reason for this option being embodied in the Bill was that a compromise had been arrived at between these elements by the various personages engaged in framing the Measure. He did not now ask whether the com promise was a good or a bad one, but at any rate strange things had happened to it. On the previous night the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich had been subjected to a sort of Sicilian vespers, and had expired, so to speak, threatening vengeance on his assassins; to-day there had been a sort of St. Bartholomew's massacre of Huguenot Nonconformists; and in what sort of lame agreement or compromise it was all going to end he did not know Being against the increase of rates, but certainly a devout friend of education, and with a bias to a single authority, he found himself in a strange and awkward position. He could get no guidance from the Government. Education was not one of his special questions; but he had sat at the feet of the Vice President of the Council, then at those of the First Lord of the Treasury, while, if neither of those right hon. Gentlemen was present, he sat at the feet of the President of the Local Government Board until that eminent Minister closured him. But after all this sitting he obtained no guidance from the Government with regard to a Clause upon which, in his opinion, the whole remainder of the Bill depended. Under these circumstances he had the gravest doubts about the matter, and when he saw the Amendment to this most important Clause supported on such grounds as had been put forward, he, in the absence of the guidance he had a right to look for from the Government, felt it to be his bounden duty not to vote on either side.

MR. BROADHUKST (Leicester)

said the case against the Amendment was best made out by the author of the Bill at an early stage of the discussion. Much support was obtained for the Measure upon its introduction upon the understanding that this option would be given. If the Amendment were carried, there would be thrown at the head of every County Council a great educational undertaking, greater than many subjects put together with which the Councils now had to deal, and to properly manage which moat Councils had neither the time nor opportunity. The whole administrative machinery of the Councils would require re-organisation, and he believe 1 that serious injury would be done, not only to education, but also to the splendid work now being carried on on non-Party lines by the various County Councils. He was in favour of leaving School Boards as they were, and of giving the County Councils the right to say whether or not they would adopt the Bill. There was no guarantee in the Bill that a better class of teachers would be secured; the chances were that the same inefficient class would remain, even though the Amendment were accepted. He hoped the First Lord would stand by his original proposal.

* MAJOR HEELY (Isle of Wight)

hoped the Amendment would be rejected. He believed the Bill to be good from an educational point of view, and the Government would be well advised to retain the optional Clause. He had supported the Measure on every possible occasion, and would continue to do so if he understood it was to be left to the County and Borough Councils to decide whether or not they should adopt it. But he was bound to say that if such of the Councils, as were practically unanimously against the Bill—although he thought their views were erroneous—were to be forced to adopt it, a situation of the utmost gravity might arise.

It being half-past Seven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again this evening.